The crew of Car and Track, the show that did the coolest television car reviews of the 1970s must have taken one look at the 1974 VW Dasher and thought it was dropped there from outer space. Not that the thing was packed with weird technology or anything like that but just because the average weight of car they tested was like 4,200lbs back then and the average size was about 20ft long. Oh, and this thing was front wheel drive…and made in Germany. MIND BLOWN.
The VW Dasher was really the first generation of VW Passat, a model that has served the company very well for decades. This car had a 75hp carb’d four banger in it. That engine would be replaced with a 1.6L Bosch fuel injected piece making 78hp about a year later. The little water cooled engines are pretty tough little buggers. We road raced one in a VW Rabbit in college and that little sucker took the abuse we chucked at it.
The car only weighs like 2,200lbs according to the video. That’s why the 75hp coupled to the four speed manual gets it to 60 mph in 11-seconds and not worse. The car handles pretty well on its tiny tires and while the guys kind of take a dump on it at the end of the review, this thing was far closer to what cars would end up looking like by the early 1980s than the typical land barges of 1974 were.